2018: Blue Ray, Scum, Other Joliah, Dust From 1,000 Years – Trixie’s Palace
2014: Bozmo, The Fagettes, Beach Toys – ZuZu
2012: Fat Creeps, Thick Shakes, TRiPle THick, Royal Wedding- Precinct [REVIEW]
2018: Blue Ray, Scum, Other Joliah, Dust From 1,000 Years – Trixie’s Palace
2014: Bozmo, The Fagettes, Beach Toys – ZuZu
2012: Fat Creeps, Thick Shakes, TRiPle THick, Royal Wedding- Precinct [REVIEW]
FAT CREEPS are back!!!!!!! A brief history lesson for those who don’t know and some reminiscing for those that do: sometime in the year 2011, Gracie and Mariam from the North Shore of Massachusetts formed a band called Fat Creeps. Their first show was at Bangkok Paradise restaurant in Salem, Mass. FC earliest stuff is primitive, raw, no wave. Just some friends having fun was the vibe – whether wearing a helmet at the Elks Lodge in Cambridge or covering Louie Louie at the OAH Hall in Peabody (these were pre-KLYAM attending shows, by the way). And we picked up on that from the very first time we saw them at O’Briens. Which was April 13, 2012. I believe it was the band’s first show with Jim on drums. As Chris wrote:
” Kids need to hear Fat Creeps! Their energy and attitude is always present. I recognize some of the songs, which I want to point out as another trait that separates Fat Creeps from most bands I see: their songs are easily recognizable. I only had to hear some of the songs once for me to remember them tonight, a rare quality indeed.”
Thus began being super fans. If anyone recalls, four years ago, we went on a bender of their shows, seeing them every chance we could. Writing about each one on this very site. And others were taking notice as well; I remember reading an article about them on The Metro as I took my train ride to work. They self-released their debut EP that summer. This album blew us away and inspired us to start our own record label, KLYAM Records, to release it on 10″ vinyl. Around that time Feeding Tube put out a 12″ featuring “Dad Weed” and “Daydreaming.” In 2014, their first full length LP Must Be Nice came through via Sophomore Lounge.
Come to their first show since Fuzzstival 2014 — FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 10 PM, at LILYPAD in Cambridge!!!!!!!
Oh and to stir up your excitement even more, the group has posted two new songs to their BANDCAMP. “IN LOVE” and “MAN IN THE WINDOW”. Check ’em out!!!
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Venue: Middle East Upstairs and Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Bands: Dinoczar, Black Beach, Gymshorts, The TeleVibes, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, CreaturoS, Atlantic Thrills, Abadabad, Magic Shoppe, 28 Degrees Taurus, The Fagettes, Fat Creeps, Doug Tuttle, Ghost Box Orchestra, The New Highway Hymnal
Once again, here’s another show review in spectacularly late fashion! Ahh at least last year’s review was completed merely hours after leaving the show. Can’t win em’ all, but we live to fight again or something like that. Anywho, here’s some fond recollections of my favorite bands’ performances at this year’s Fuzzstival…. oh and a lengthy introduction as to cap it all off. You didn’t think you would escape one of my lengthy introductions now did you??? Haha.
We love going to shows. You don’t need me to tell you that unless you assumed we were masochists this whole time. It’s all been our great displeasure seeing all of your bands perform live year after year. It’s been ever so painful. Though, if it’s painful for a masochist isn’t it also pleasurable? You got me. We’re actually not masochists, we’re sadists. We spew filth and fury. Hate us on facebook.
Festivals are simply shows on steroids or better yet shows in the midst of a nasty coke binge. One band and then another and then another and then another and then another. Sensory overload. All senses are fuzzed up by the end of this shindig. All senses. The Lysergic Factory Lightshow, Video Joe Turner, and Wax House A/V scrape the mucus off your brain, Emma’s Pizza deliver mouth watering slices, and fifteen of New England’s feistiest tear through what’s left of your withering eardrums. I think that covers all the senses. Ahh well, you get the gist.
We at KLYAM typically cover the fuzzy variety – garage spunk psychaholics. So, it’s an absolute pleasure to have an entire festival dedicated to this “style” of music. Big thanks to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind for doing what must be done. We thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Fuzzstival, but the line up this year is even superior: many of our own local favorites and on top of it all, the party takes place at our favorite venue, Middle East.
———— UPSTAIRS ————-
Gymshorts – We scurry into the Middle East, fretting that we may have missed our Providence dawgs in Gymshorts. As we slime into the Mid East Up, I notice a crowded room and Gymshorts setting up to play and I realize I haven’t missed anything. An awesome relief washes over me. Per usual they launch into “Scumdog” I WANNA GET HIGHHHH AND I WANNA GET STONEDDDD” ya you know. They shred the usual No Backsies jams then things come to a halt briefly when one of their strings breaks. Hey, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t perfect. They bounce back with an apropos tune for the moment in “Oh Brother.” Catch these shorts on a giant ass tour all across these here United States: https://www.facebook.com/events/250069071850157/
The TeleVibes – Dude, these vibes get right under your skin and crawl around for a few days/weeks at a time. You’ll be telling all your friends and loved ones about how awesome The TeleVibes were at the Fuzzstival. Fuck, your grandchildren.
The Tellies are fuzztastic, but they got a little more than just grit in their wee bellies. They possess a tenacious affection for mind melting psych noise that’s dripping garage snot rockets all over the place. Guitar riffs coming straight from the bowels of hell. That’s old Charlie Northin’ there and old Scott Lorin’. And old brother Christian Hardy packing heat and smacking away on the skins. Sounds like these young men have spent entirely too much alone time with Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Segall. So, I guess then that’s not alone time, ahh well it’s too late to go back now. The past is the past and we’re living in a modern world, whatever that means.
I’ve seen The Tellies in the past, but prior to this Fuzzstival, it’s been about seven months (HOLY SHIT I know, I was shocked as well) and they sincerely sound better than ever. Actually, my favorite band at the Fuzzstival. Dig it. It’s dug. These Tellies be vibin’ so hard. They slap me in the face like a bag of wet dicks. Each guitar lick is a new slap to the face and I suppose the masochist in me wants more. More More More, no wait, wrong fuzz band. Forgive me or not, whichever works. I’ll be seeing The TeleVibes again and again, in my head and in my bed, now that I got me my very own Washed Up EP on cassette! LISTEN to it HERE: http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/
Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Listen up, you little freaks. Here’s one band you’re not going to FUCK with… ladies and gentlemen, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!
I’ve been seeing these fine gents a lot lately. Starlab Fest, Black Lodge, and now here at the Fuzzstival. Beware is the premiere Boston surf rock band, a surf nut’s wet dream. They lean hard towards the nuttier side of the surf realm, fitting in perfectly within this fuzz fest as my friend Dylan likes to call it.
As always Beware puts on a fun, frenzied show, constantly hoppin’ and boppin’ around the stage, leaving the audience on the edge/over the edge. Definitely a band to catch in the flesh sooner than later. Their recordings sound just as demonic though, check them out here: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/
CreaturoS – Local psych juggernauts, CreaturoS headline the first half of Fuzzstival, being the last band to play at the Middle East Upstairs tonight. The group (as with most of the bands playing this thang) thank Jason Trefts for hosting such an epic event. They rip through an earache inducing set of psych pop that Boston fans have come to know and love.
At one point this dude climbs on stage and awkwardly stands up there with the band for a few seconds. I even think he’s a friend of the band for a minute. You know how sometimes bands pull up their comrades to sing or play along to a song. Not in this instance. The band smirks and kindly escorts the man off the stage. Perhaps he thought there would be a stage invasion like last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTFptrZH5Mc.
So, that’s the end of the first half of the fest. Oh and check out CreaturoS on bandcamp: http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/
———– DOWNSTAIRS ————
Atlantic Thrills – Providence dawgs Atlantic Thrills are kicking things off right for the second half of the Fuzz. Seeing the Thrillz up on stage here brings me back to the first time I saw them live about three years ago at this very same location opening for Those Darlins. Damn, and many more shows followed!
The crowd is still building up, but those of us that are present are devouring all the punk slime and saliva these maniacs have to offer. My favorite tonight is “Day At The Beach,” a great Summer jam or as Dan Tanner puts it “this song is about drugs and the beach.” Reckless abandon. For mo’ Atlantic Thrills: http://atlanticthrills.com/
The Fagettes – Illegally Blind seriously rolls out the upper crust of local fuzz and Fagettes is a prime example of that. The group (featuring Nice Guy Jake Gilbertson on bass) pounds through a rockin’ set of gettes classics such as “On Drugs,” “Gonna Die Out Here,” and a bunch of others my fuzzed out dome is missing.
The crowd moves and shakes a bit more during their set, but are still too motionless for my tastes. That’s one of my few qualms about the Fuzzstival. Lack of significant crowd participation/dancing/moshing. Everything else is tip top A ok.
Ryan Fagette is as feisty as ever, prowling around the stage, fighting off some technical difficulties with his guitar. He gives a fiery performance during “I Wanna Feel Good” as he makes his way to the crowd, standing tall above everyone. He fervently shouts I WANNA FEEL GOOD directly into various patron’s eyes. He even messes around with the Lysergic Factory’s light show, making a mess out of all dem pretty colors. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/
Fat Creeps – FC is fresh off a two week tour with The Lentils. A friend of mine observed that bands always sound tighter when they have just come back from tour and I think that’s true in this instance. It’s like everything else, if you keep persistent, you naturally get better. I’m just happy to finally see the band perform at my favorite above ground venue; I believe this is their first time playing at the Middle East Downstairs. Anyway, definitely one of the better shows I’ve seen from the trio recently. No hesitation, kick out the jams, and raise some hell. Some hell.
I’m at the point now where I don’t really have much more to say about this band, I’ve seen them over 30 times and it’s always been a pleasure. I dig some of the audio assault in the “new” songs from Must Be Nice such as “Party” and “Having So Much Fun,” but I’ll always have a place in my heart for the oldies like “Nancy Drew” and “700 Parts.” It’s all good. http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/
We missed The New Highway Hymnal :( but, if I had seen them, they surely would appear in this article. Check them out regardless: http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/
So, that’s my recollections. One big final shout out again to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind. Like, follow, share, support, do whatever you do on the fascist book, just most importantly GO to the fine ass shows he’s constantly putting on around Boston. https://www.facebook.com/IllegallyBlindPresents
Video from TeenageRiotTv
Boston Fuzzstival 2014 organized by Illegally Blind’s Jason Trefts is going down tomorrow (Saturday August 2nd) afternoon and evening at The Middle East Upstairs (starting at 1 PM) and Downstairs (starting at 6 PM) and features exactly 15 bands of the garage/psych/surf/pop variety — exactly the styles of music that we appreciate most around here on KLYAM! Of course this is an event we’ve been looking forward to for months and if you remember back to last year Chris cranked out a review of the event as soon as he got home from it. It is a wonderful thing to see underground rock ‘n roll of this kind making the rounds around local blogs; just head over to the Fuzzstival FB event page to read a bunch of posts about Fuzzstival and the bands playing it.
KLYAM’s pretty energetic about the bands we care about. We’re also eager to see any bands we have not had the pleasure to see yet. I’m just going to say some words about some bands I have seen and really really dig:
GYMSHORTS – Playing at 2:25 UPSTAIRS – Providence scum surf roquers blasted into existence about one year ago, but it just might seem like they’ve been around longer with the amount of shows they’ve been playing around New England and New York. Sarah leads the pack in their mosh friendly jams on vocals/guitar while Devin complements her with fuzzy lead twang. I think this will be about my tenth time seeing them and it’s always a real fun time! [LISTEN]
TELEVIBES – Playing at 3:00 UPSTAIRS – North Shore ass jigglers / ball ticklers – course these words are courtesy of Chris, but I agree completely – playing that slimy Migsian stuff that’s had us in a tizzy since hearing their Washed Up EP and damn that release show is still one for the record books. It’s been seven months since – far too long a wait for us so the anticipation runs highhhhh. [LISTEN]
BEWARE THE DANGERS OF A GHOST SCORPION – Playing at 3:45 UPSTAIRS – Everybody ought to pace themselves at this point – I mean on any other day these guys would probably be playing at 12 AM and closing out festivities. Two weeks ago they put an end to STARLAB FEST and wow I fondly recall bopping up, down, and around, perhaps at one point falling as they pounded out southern evil Dicky Dale instrumental after southern evil Dicky Dale instrumental. Guess I just suck at describing surf and should stick to bumping into people with a shit eating grin. Must see group! [LISTEN]
CREATUROS – Playing at 4:30 UPSTAIRS – Have seen these new era Boston garage/psych legends (a term I’ll use loosely to let the crowd response to their 2013 Fuzzstival set do the talking) rather intermittently over the past couple of years. I was really won over when they opened for FUZZ at Great Scott last fall. That was a killer set… then just a bit ago they dropped ‘SHORT SHORTS‘ a pure garage pop goldie. Forgive me for not really knowing any of their other songs by heart, I will know that one! [LISTEN]
ATLANTIC THRILLS – Playing at 6:00 DOWNSTAIRS – Alrighty garage bro so you know the Atlantic Thrills, you read about ’em online somewhere. OK yes it was probably here. We’ve championed their rock ‘n roll since the year 2011, about three years before they dropped their first LP (KLYAM recommended obviously). Tripped to Providence a bunch of times to catch them in their abode and have had some really memorable experiences both on stage and off stage in their presence. Very happy to hear that they are kicking things off DOWNSTAIRS (where they once opened for Those Darlins), here’s to another round of sloppy debauchery. [LISTEN]
THE FAGETTES – Playing at 9:00 DOWNSTAIRS – Without feeling like a local rock n roll snob, I am confident calling The Fagettes the Boston kings and queens of the garage, flower punk style. They have a history of playing with some of the world’s finest rock n roll bands (NOBUNNY, Shannon and the Clams, Hunx and His Punx) and that is surely no coincidence. The energy, vocal trade-offs of Ryan and Melanie, dueling drums, sax here and there, the noisy POP racket, I could go on and on. You wanna feel good. Catch THE FAGETTES. [LISTEN]
FAT CREEPS – Playing at 9:45 DOWNSTAIRS – We’ve seen the Creeps the most out of all the bands at Fuzzstival about three times over, which should not come as a shocker to anyone as we’re intense supporters from way back. They just released their first LP Must Be Nice [pick one up if you haven’t, along with their klyammy debut 10″ of course] and IT’s great! For those who like both the sun and the shade, the fast and the slow, Fat Creeps pack ’em all and their live show is a stellar reflection of what’s got the Americans, Europeans, and Japanese going nuts!! [LISTEN/BUY 10″]
NEW HIGHWAY HYMNAL – Playing at 12:15 DOWNSTAIRS – What better way to cap off this night than with New Highway Hymnal, emblematic diplomats of the meaning of FUZZSTIVAL. K, didn’t mean to get that deep all of a sudden, except I’m telling the truth here. Psych/garage/surf/noise The New Highway Hymnal can dismantle a Lowell basement and a 575 capacity venue just the same. Don’t think I’ve seen them since Charlie joined on guitar, should be sweeeeet! Heads up crowd you might get bumped in the head by Hadden’s guitar, but you’ll love it all the same. [LISTEN]
Band: Fat Creeps
Label: Sophomore Lounge [LP] / Gnar Tapes [CS]
Sometimes people have a habit of associating music with a particular season or climate, but you see listening to the Fat Creeps is an everyday kind of musical experience. This is hardly anything new! From their early days when they readily donned costumes and frequently changed guitars and instruments up through the more subdued times of late, Fat Creeps’ sound has remained about the same: indefinable, but always rocking – sometimes straight up pop, sometimes far more strange!
The first recordings of the Fat Creeps – their self-titled EP released in 2012 and later issued physically by us KLYAM Records and their two song Feeding Tube split 12” with ZEBU! – are peppered with all waves of punk and surf-pop with guitarist/vocalists Gracie Jackson and Mariam Saleh often singing in harmony or trading lines. Those two songs, “Dad Weed” and “Daydreaming” appear 1-2 on Must Be Nice, the band’s first full-length album released on Sophomore Lounge and GNAR Tapes. Their inclusion here is an excellent way to acknowledge their past and usher in some newer sounds. Third track “He Comes In Loudly” supremely shows off the styling and distinctions of Gracie and Mariam. In fact, this one sounds like a best of everything that the pair has done in their four years together. Gracie’s astounding and mumbly vocals on the verses meet up with Mariam’s haunting backing vocals before they so elegantly collide; Gracie ruptures into a brief solo before finishing the song as it started. After this most intriguing song and with good reason, Fat Creeps diversify their arsenal from here on out.
“In Name Only” is Must Be Nice’s “700 Parts,” a Gracie song for sure! Super chill, super hard to figure out what she’s saying, dreamy, surfy. “Blue” is similarly vibed, although it is markedly faster and here Mariam sings her articulate leads. Same is the case for the first two songs on SIDE B. “I’ve Got” is insanely hooky, the bass fuller than ever it seems and the guitars screeching in the old garage. The girls are up to trouble by the time those sludgy distorted four chords enter into the picture and someone’s won or warn.
Get ready to break out your best late ‘70s dance moves for “Party” and don’t be surprised if you catch your hip or not so hip mom, dad, grandmother, and sis causing their own raucus in the rumpus room. Take DEVO and the B-52’s for a point of reference. Fat Creeps certainly have the sweet ability of uniting the punks, the hippiesters, and the family accountant who will instantly reminisce of his days spinning The Gun Club’s Fire of Love at the college radio station. Must Be Nice has you toe-tappin’, head bobbin’ through and through, perhaps most unevenly on “Bak 2 School” – anxiety is high, but so isn’t the whatever factor. Just give me noisy guitars and a throbbing bass. No words necessary. In pure helmets and wedding dress Fat Creeps fashion, the band goes full circle, ending the album with their first song, their first video, the one that drew the acclaim of the Boston Phoenix and the rest of us. NANCY DREW. We got Gracie in our left ear, Mariam in our right, in this more minimalistic, poppy number with one chorus you ain’t forgetting anytime soon!
Noisy, surfy, garagey, who cares-y, Fat Creeps keep things light always. The spooky and haunting aura that has surrounded them since the beginning is only slightly demystified on Must Be Nice and hey, that sure is nice. I wouldn’t go up to them and start quoting their songs, but if I was you and you were me, I would attend every possible show of theirs that you can. And lastly, credit to Jim Leonard, who drummed on this record and all of Fat Creeps earlier offerings. His versatile and tight drumming is instantly recognizable, holding down the fort economically and just-in-time like an expert operations manager.
From upcoming Must Be Nice LP on Sophomore Lounge/Gnar! We got a few colored copies of their debut EP left, get on that!
Fat Creeps have been the KLYAM band for about two years – yes of course you might have noticed with our countless posts, releasing their debut on wax, going to and reviewing as any many shows of theirs as we can. We’re enthralled by the music of Gracie and Mariam, which is groovy and harmonious and noisy and heavy and light and dark. On this very night, they play a set of oldies and newbies gems, ranging from the dance inducing “Secrets” and “Daydreaming” to some 2014-era material like “Comes In Loudly” and a couple others I don’t even know the names of! Gonna have to wait for their Gnar Tapes release. I feel like I hadn’t seen the Creeps (live, I mean, and for the first time with new dawg Travis Hagan) for a long long while so it was quite the pleasure to take it all in, notably these newer tunes that have a more MAJESTIC feel than the more immediate pop luster of times past. So that’s pretty sick! Also, the spirited background dancing of Noah of ACLU Benefit that hilariously accompanied the Creeps set made me grin big during “Loudly” as he would chill for just occasional seconds before going ape shit flailing around, half naked, just like everyone should during a celebratory Fat Creeps occasion.
This past week I went to see some bands in a basement. The show was originally going to be at a burger place but they were having problems with the venue and moved the show. Hunters, who were supposed to play, cancelled the tour because their singer got injured. Bent Shapes replaced them and opened the show. I once saw Bent Shapes a few years ago when they were called Girlfriends. Their sound hasn’t really changed much. They play jangly power-pop punk that was good. Bleeding Rainbow, who I thought were gonna headline, played 2nd. They really made a lot of noise in that tiny basement. One thing I like when bands play in venues like this is that their sound doesn’t reverberate all over the place. It just stays there so you can just stand there and feel enveloped in the sound. I was hoping that Bleeding Rainbow would have played a few more songs. Local girls the Fat Creeps along with Travis Hagan of The New Highway Hymnal on drums closed the show. They are readying their debut album for the Gnarly dudes of Gnar Tapes. This is such an honor for them to be hooked up with those guys. Their early releases were put out by my friends at KLYAM. They played their nice brand of psych slacker punk. Fat Creeps are gonna be huge very soon. I just know it.
Bleeding Rainbow’s Set-List
Time & Place
So You Know’
Bands: Way too many to name.
Date(s): Friday-Saturday, November 8 and 9, 2013
Venue: Cambridge Elks Lodge
Every year the good people over at Boston Hassle throw a big ass music festival featuring over 40 local and national bands. Essentially, they do what they do best year round, just in the most gigantic way possible. This is the fifth Hassle Fest (formerly known as Homegrown) and the first ever attended by us, the KLYAM and we had a shit ton of fun! We are forever grateful for having the Boston Hassle around us and all of the great music they promote on a daily basis, much of which was on display at this year’s Hassle Fest. We have never experienced anything quite similar. Simply one band after another, with no breathing room in between. Exhilarating. Overwhelming. Punk Slime All Of The Time – at least in spirit. So yeah, I set out to write about every single band. This quickly became impossible due to work schedules, train schedules, and our general black out status over the course of the weekend. The following is a recap of some of the bands we saw that left me with the best impression and/or I remember best.
Zebu! – The Zebu! dudes always put on a good show and interact very well with their audience. They use up their twenty minutes bashing out a string of noise rock fused jams including a cover of The Vaselines classic “Molly’s Lips,” which they twist into “Molly’s tits.” Hehe.
Per usual in Zebu! shows, Ted walks through the crowd, shirtless, singing and shrieking about. He parades all the way to the back, until he is practically in the next room.
The band announces that they are happy to be celebrating their tenth anniversary and that they are releasing a greatest hits album on BUFU Records. Damn, pick that shit up. http://zebu.bandcamp.com/
Kal Marks – I’ve been digging Kal Marks for a while now and I’ve seen them with various line-ups over the years, but this is definitely the finest performance I’ve seen from the band thus far. Lead singer Carl has an undeniably distinct voice that just reverberates throughout the room and rests inside your ear drums for weeks to come. It’s like an odd, mumbly/grungy, southern drawl that one either finds appealing or nauseating. Most fall under the former category.
Besides Carl’s voice, the band has really come a long way since I last saw them (though, they were a rare two piece that night, so I’m not the best one to be judging), particularly with the addition of drummer Nick Egersheim (Big Mess). I’ve long been a fan of Nick’s powerful, sledgehammer drumming and I can’t think of a better fit for Kal Marks.
As a whole the band has a ginormous ROCK sound to them, very epic, very big deal. The guitars jostle back and forth producing incredible build ups and break downs. It’s almost intimidating, overwhelming, and strangely accessible, which isn’t a terrible word. Listen to Life Is Murder here: http://kalmarks.bandcamp.com/ It’s one of the best records you will hear all year.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Here’s a band people have been recommending to me/us for at least a year and a half now, and I can certainly see why. This being our first Ed Schrader experience, I am flabbergasted. The place is roaring to the sweet, sublime sounds of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. Glen comments that he was inspired by Ed before he even heard him!
Ed Schrader delivers a loony bass heavy sonic blast that drills my ears even way in the back of the Elks Lodge. The place is packed to the gills with Ed Schrader nut bags. I specifically love how Ed switches up between soft, serene Frank Sinatra drenched vocals to fast, pummeling screams. Ed makes it a point to make a special shout out to the Profit$ and how awesome it is to have him in our city. There ya go. The set crashed to its conclusion with a sick little cover of KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which must have shoved old Ben Katzman into paroxysms of ecstasy. Check out Ed Schrader’s Music Beat here if you want to be shoved into paroxysms of ecstasy: http://edschradersmusicbeat.bandcamp.com/
The Beets – YIPPEE KI YAY MELON FARMER, IT’S THE BEETS! The Beets from Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, back in beautiful Boston for you and me. And I’ve never seen so many enthusiastic Beets fans all in one room before. It is fabulous to see the Elks filled to the brim with hundreds of kids of all ages, well maybe not all ages (in theory there could be!), all surrounding Juan Wauters (vocals/guitar), Tall Juan Zaballa (vocals/bass), and their Amerikan flag proudly hoisted behind them. Alas, no Chie Mori (vocals/drums) this time around :(, but two beets beat it off just fine, no fumblin’, no foolin’ around. There’s work to be done dawg. Despite the large crowd, this Beets set still feels just as warm and fuzzy as ever. Glen and I snag a nice lil spot up front, so close to the band that we are probably freaking them out, no way!
We first saw The Beets at a secret show at Wellesley College (opening for No Age) back in April 2009. I remember thinking they were a strange combination of Black Lips meets Beat Happening. At the time, I didn’t truly appreciate it though and about a year and half passed by before I started listening to The Beets again. The fall of 2010, a time when folks could find me listening to Spit In The Face of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool (2009) on repeat, especially the song “Broken English.” Boy, did I love that song. I used to turn up the speakers all the way – I eventually broke them – blaring The Beets and tossing a tennis ball against my dorm room walls, annoying the hell out of all my fellow dormatory chums. I guess they just didn’t want to be cool.
Later that summer (2011) we caught The Beets again on a bill with Slumberland’s Brilliant Colors at a basement show in Allston (Problem House). While that show was fine and cozy, I don’t recall kids going apeshit for The Beets, at least not in serious numbers. Tonight is a different story. As I mentioned earlier there are many enthusiastic Beets fans in the house.
Aside from Glen and myself, Hassle Fest organizers Chris Collins and Ben Katzman are among these Beets zealots, rambunctiously dancing and singing along to each and every Beets song. It’s damn near hard not to; with just a couple of guitars these Queens kids can start a riot if they wanted to. The dudes open with Spit opener “Happy, But On My Way” and they play a satisfying mish mash of material from all three of their distinguished albums. My favorites on this evening include “What Did I Do” and “Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit.” The latter is a fantastic anthem for all of us outsiders, and if you’re a Beets fan you probably are an outsider or maybe you’re an insider, but an outsider at heart or an outsider, but an insider at heart. The Beets can be puzzling. Make you contemplate life while you dance. Keep your mind moving just as fast as your hips, I dig. Lastly, at the request of the audience The Beets plink out “Friends of Friends.” Tis a great show.
Set – List:
“Happy, But On My Way”
“Now I Live”
“What Did I Do” (written as “Why Did I Do”)
“In Your Head”
“I Don’t Know”
“Why Should I Live If I Won’t Fit”
“Knock On Wood”
“Friends of Friends”
Lightning Bolt – Lightning Bolt headlines the first night of Hassle Fest and rightfully so. The legendary noise duo formed nearly 20 years ago and have been deafening the youth over and over again ever since. I first heard of Lightning Bolt at the recommendation of a hip college professor in 2009. I was reading The Catcher In The Rye and this young, hip college professor suggested I listen to Lightning Bolt and Hasil Adkins. It was a fun day. Since then, Lightning Bolt has been on my list of “bands to see before I die.” I’ve seen chaotic videos of the pair (Brian Chippendale – drums/vocals and Brian Gibson – bass) in wrestling masks (as they appear tonight) playing on the floor while a crowd of crazy kids pile all around them. It looked amazing and I wanted in.
Last I heard of Lightning Bolt till now was that they were playing and even selling out the Paradise Rock Club, a large venue, not exactly what I expected from the band. Glad to see they have made it to a bigger level and still retain their gritty, abrasive nature, but I am so happy that my first Lightning Bolt show is here at the much smaller Cambridge Elks Lodge. And as I predicted, the place is full of vast amounts of Lightning Bolts fans, all tucked away in this tiny spot, and balls out bedlam ensues.
I’ve/we’ve never experienced anything quite like a Lightning Bolt show. It’s LOUD as fuck (thankfully I threw on some earplugs, about the second or third time I have ever done this) and it’s just a non stop mosh pit. The ear splitting, constant barrage of noise coming from the Brians’ drums and bass is the perfect soundtrack for mayhem. It’s like a 30-40 minute tornado. Kids even crash into the drum set and it topples over from time to time. By the end of the set, I’m drenched in sweat and I remain soaked for the next two hours. So yes, go see Lightning Bolt if you get a chance.
Fat Creeps – KLYAM Records’ own Fat Creeps are among the most anticipated bands to play the Hassle Fest and by the time they hit the stage (or lack thereof), a solid crowd is built up around them.
Tonight’s set consists of some of the band’s louder, noisier tunes and the whole performance is one of the heaviest I have seen from the trio. Songs include the pop gems like “Fooled” and “Secrets,” which feature some nasty, extended vocals – “I Can’t hear youuuuuu!” as well as some fast punk rockers like “Going to the Party” and “Daydreaming.”
I notice a lot of new faces at this show, I can see that many of them are taking a shine to the Fat Creeps. The seemingly younger crowd produce a healthy, fun loving mosh pit during “Going to the Party,” something that typically doesn’t occur at most Creeps shows.
All in all, one of the best I’ve seen from the band in months. Check out their music here: http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/ and pick up a copy of their self-titled 10″ (VINYL) EP from KLYAM Records! http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/fat-creeps-10-ep-coke-bottle-clear
Spacin’ – Spacin’, some dudes from Philly, some seriously spacin’ dudes. These fellas are fun, laid back, dare I say psychedelic. It’s an overused description, but for all intents and purposes, we’ll stick with psychedelic for now. No need to get into all the hairy, in depth, emotional details. What do I look like their fucking biographer? So yeah, it’s jam, bluesy psych stuff. They’d pal around with the likes of Moontower and Future Days if they were around these parts; a bit dirtier than those folks though. Not downright filthy either.
A pair of hoolgians grab the band’s mic and sing into it while the band continues to solo as if nothing is going on. They all spaced out. Maybe. Space out with Spacin’ right here: http://spacin.bandcamp.com/album/1-1-11-demo
Guerilla Toss – There’s been a lot of commotion surrounding Guerilla Toss lately and they’ve earned it. I mean there’s always commotion surrounding Guerilla Toss. It’s that primal, incomparable rawness that sets them apart from just about every other band I have ever seen and most other bands you will see too. I’m not going to pretend like I understand the technical sophistication that makes up the music of Guerilla Toss. I don’t know much about no wave or free jazz or whatever, but I know what I like and I like Guerilla Toss.
So, instead of throwing out names like Boredoms or another noise/experimental/avant garde band I don’t actually know anything about as a means of comparison, I’m going to stick with what I know: my own gut feeling and Jay Reatard. Huh? yes, I am probably the only person that will compare Guerilla Toss to Jay Reatard. But, I can only speak from personal experience. When I see Guerilla Toss, I get that same, uncertain, somewhat uncomfortable feeling in my stomach that I got all those years ago when I saw Jay all revved up on stage before he passed away far too young. While the late musician played comparatively far more straight forward rock ‘n’ roll than Guerilla Toss, both artists share a similar brutal aesthetic that is particularly amplified during a live show. With Tard and Toss the music serves as a gigantic bulldozer that rolls over you with little to no care for your preservation. There is no conventional verbal interaction with the audience. There is no applause after each song to serve as an ego boost for the artists. There is no time check, time is suspended. In a few simple words, Guerilla Toss is the most confrontational band I have seen since Jay Reatard; the band and the audience together behave as they ought to at a rock ‘n’ roll show, like primitive, savage animals.
Give Guerilla Toss’ new record Gay Disco (NNA Tapes) a listen and check out everything else G Toss here: http://guerillatoss.com/
All around Hassle Fest was a mesmerizing experience, a constant assault of excellent music – both foreign and homegrown. Can’t wait for next year.